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Alonso backs Hamilton move

ESPN Staff
October 4, 2012 « Vettel confident in Red Bull pace | Button still eyeing Japan victory despite grid penalty »
Fernando Alonso: "For McLaren, [Alain] Prost was going out, [Ayrton] Senna; it was me, now it's Lewis, and usually for a better life, for good change" © Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso has said Lewis Hamilton is right to leave McLaren and that "he will enjoy it more" at Mercedes.

Hamilton's move was confirmed last week, bringing an end to six years with McLaren in Formula One. Alonso was Hamilton's team-mate in his debut season in 2007, with the pair enduring a tumultuous year together, but with Alonso long since having left the team he said it will prove to be "a better life" for Hamilton once he joins Mercedes.

"Well I was a little bit out of the world because I was travelling and I was not informed every second or every reaction so I know that Hamilton signed for Mercedes and Perez for McLaren but I don't know what they said or why the reasons or anything like that so it's difficult to comment," Alonso said. "Obviously it's a surprise when big teams change drivers because there are a lot of repercussions but I didn't read what they said or anything.

"I think it's normal, it's just steps in your career and I said when the rumours were there that for Lewis I think it's a good thing to move on. For McLaren, [Alain] Prost was going out, [Ayrton] Senna; it was me, now it's Lewis, and usually for a better life, for good change. McLaren is 14 years not winning the constructors' championship, most of these years sometimes with the best car, so I'm sure Lewis wants to win as well."

Having criticised McLaren's inability to win the constructors' title, Alonso also said he expected Hamilton to be an immediate threat in the championship next season with Mercedes.

"I think he did great at McLaren, he's a star of Formula One, he won one world championship which is the target for all of us, he won races, he's considered one of the best drivers and now I think for the next years he will enjoy it more, he will be very competitive and I think from next year he is a clear contender for the championship with Mercedes. It's a top team with Ross Brawn there and with all the potential of the company behind, so it's very strong."